New Orleans, Louisiana, United States- Angela
Here are My Top 8 Picks in New Orleans
Best Casual Creole Restaurant: Oceana Grill
Full disclosure, I was a bit hungover when I ate at Oceana, but that fun fact makes this recommendationthat much more important- right? The portion sizes here are huge, and their menu is extensive! This is where tourists and locals alike go for an enjoyable dish in the French Quarter. It’s a large place with multiple floors and unique decor. You may not know what to order because there are just too many mouth-watering options- but have no fear! The waitstaff at Oceana is more than happy to help!
Best Elegant Creole Restaurant: Commander’s Palace
Commander’s Palace is a beautiful, upscale restaurant in the Garden District that you seriously cannot miss. If you’re on a budget (like I tend to be), this may be a bit pricey for you. So, instead of doing dinner- go for lunch! I promise you, every cent will be worth it. This place is famous- and for good reason. When you walk in, you’re cheerfully greeted by every single person you pass- it felt like Disney World. I ordered the “Chef Tory’s Classic Creole Luncheon” which includes a soup, delicious entree, and out-of-this-world dessert! Wear your best outfit to this restaurant, and prepare yourself for an absolutely extraordinary dining experience!
Best Elegant Non-creole Restaurant: Lüke
If you’d like to take a break from the heavy, southern cuisine I suggest you venture over to Lüke, located in the Central Business District (CBD), one night. This establishment pulled from many different countries when constructing its diverse menu. The cuisine tends to be more German/French, and regardless of what you order, the food is cooked and prepared flawlessly. The staff here is outstanding: attentive, kind, friendly, understanding, helpful. I’d give the service- and food- 5 stars!
Best Dive Bar: Chuck’s Sports Bar
Where to even begin with this place? Well, stepping inside was not on my list of “Things to Do” in New Orleans, I’ll tell you that much! My friend and I were heading to a burlesque show in the CBD one evening when we stumbled upon this bar. It looks a bit sketchy from the outside, but we decided to go in and get a local dive bar experience. WOW! The bartender was an older man who has probably been mixing cocktails there for decades. And when I tell you that 98% of our [very affordable] drinks were alcohol: I am not exaggerating.
Best Bar on Bourbon St: Bourbon Bandstand
My iPhone was stolen at this bar during my last night in New Orleans, yet this place STILL makes the list for best bar on Bourbon! I spent 6 nights in this wonderful, crazy city and the majority of those nights were spent here. This bar gets packed with people, so show up a bit “early” (9:30-10:30pm) in order to walk in without a line and get quick service at the bar. However, even when the bar is hopping at midnight, you still get excellent service at Bandstand! My favorite part? The incredible music and live bands. The top hits of today and the throwbacks we grew up with bounce off the walls at this bar; there is such a positive and fun atmosphere! I met so many interesting- and good looking- people here… thinking about it puts a smile on my face. So, moral of the story: don’t put your iPhone down on a table, and you’re good to go! Dance the night away and have #noregrets!
Best Quick Breakfast: Café Du Monde
Chances are, you’ve been researching the best places in the city for your upcoming trip, and this place has popped up. If you’ve been asking friends who have been to New Orleans before which places you must visit, they’re recommending this place. And now, here I am, also telling you to GO TO THIS PLACE. Why?Because it’s a staple in New Orleans. No matter when you go to this place for breakfast, there will be a line. Usually, a very long one. Do not let the look of the line scare you. The line moves quickly because you are essentially an item on a conveyor built, moving through a factory (stay with me here, the factory is really the line). It’s hard to describe- you have to experience it to understand it- but basically, as soon as people get up and leave, it’s brushed off and new people are sat instantly. Tables are all super close together. I know, the description I’m giving isn’t really making you think this is a worthy place. It is. You don’t go here for topnotch service or a quiet meal- you go here for the iconic beignets and cafe au laits.
Best Brunch: Stanley Restaurant
This brunch spot is located on Jackson Square and is definitely worth mentioning! Breakfast is served all day, but you want to get there at a decent hour to avoid a long wait. This place also offers stacked sandwiches and salads, which all sound divine. I took the lunch route and ordered the Club Stanley. Just typing the name of that delectable sandwich (which has BACON on it by the way) makes my mouth water. You can’t go wrong here! I mean it: stop in on your next stroll by the Square and check this spot off your list!
Best French Quarter Hotel: Hyatt Centric Hotel
Holy *&^%$#!!! This place is AMAZING. This gem of a hotel has a superb location: literally steps away from Bourbon Street and near all of the other top picks on this list. You can’t beat it! The hotel is gorgeous and the rooms are beyond comfortable. You’ll find high ceilings, cozy beds, a fitness center, and a refreshing pool. Of course, there is also a poolside bar serving up drinks and small bites! Inside the hotel, there’s a cute little spot called Powdered Sugar that’s perfect for grabbing a quick coffee or bite to eat in the morning before you head out to explore. Everyone who works at the Hyatt Centric is very knowledgeable about the area and eager to assist you. I highly recommend you stay at this hotel during your stay- you’ll love it!
So, there you have it! My top 8 recommendations for the lively and diverse city of New Orleans. Some bloggers get paid to tell you how “fantastic” a particular business or attraction is. I have no affiliation with any of these establishments, nor am I getting compensated for writing about them. I have chosen these spots as my top 8 picks because they truly are the best New Orleans has to offer!